Vitsebsk: picket in support of political prisoners banned for traditional reasons
The event, aimed at reminding the people about the existence of political prisoners in modern Belarus, has been scheduled for August 4. However, human rights defender Leanid Svetsik wasn't allowed to hold it.
The human rights defender filed an application for the event at the appropriate time and asked for permission to hold a rally at the officially designated location, in the Park of Culture and Rest of Railwaymen. However, the local authorities banned the rally: the signature under the ban was put by the deputy chief the Chyhunachny District Executive Committee of Vitsebsk Natallia Liapioshkina.
In the application for the event the activist reminded the local authorities that freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are the most important political rights. Therefore, he requested the authorities to secure the public order, health and render public services at the expense of the state, as well as to "take measures to protect members picketing against possible provocations and misconduct by law enforcement agencies during the preparation and holding of the mass event, as well as after its completion" .
However, Mr. Svetsik received a ban due to the lack of service contracts with the police, medics and public utilities. Systematic prohibition of mass events are an attempt on the fundamental rights and liberties. Such a policy doesn't foster the development of the civil society, believes Leanid Svetsik.